Bend Tool

 |  Igor Idzik

Table of contents:
Bend a region
Bend a profile
Advanced Settings
Tips & Tricks





Welcome to the article, in which we are going to learn about SelfCAD's 3D modeling tool called Bend. I am going to explain all of its ins and outs and present its general applications. On top of that, I will share a few Tips and Tricks that you could use with Deformations.

Bend is one of the basic Deformation tools available in SelfCAD, and you will find it in the main Toolbar, in the Deform drop-down list. As its name suggests, it allows you to deform selected figures or their regions by bending them to the sides.

Deform is a unique category because tools in it rely heavily on the level of the detail of the objects. It means that by increasing their Resolution, you will achieve a much smoother and detailed deformation. On top of that, with the Advanced Settings such as the Plane, Dynamic Origin, and the Individual transformation, you can customize the Bend even further.

Follow along to learn all about this tool!

Infographic showcasing all features available for the Bend tool


Select the object

Selecting the object that Bend will be used

The first step of using any modeling tool is selecting the object on which you want to use it. You can select objects by either left-clicking on them in the workspace or by selecting them in the Object Management section, in the right-side panel. The second option has an in-built search engine, which is extremely useful when you are working with multiple objects.


Activate the tool

Selecting Bend tool from the deform drop-down list in the main toolbar

Once the object is selected, you can activate the Bend tool by selecting it from the Deform drop-down list, or use a shortcut, by pressing the  ‘D+B’ combination on your keyboard. This way, you’ll open a Tool Setting Panel with all of the customizable options for this tool on the left side of your screen. Activating the Bend tool will also enable the Gizmo that you can use to Deform the object.



Bending the object with the help of the Gizmo

The first option to bend the selected object in SelfCAD is by dragging the Gizmo mentioned in the previous paragraph. As you can see, it points in different directions, which indicate in which dimension and in which way you can bend the object.

Bending the object with the help of the text-boxes

The second way to bend the object is by typing the exact values into the text boxes in the Tool Setting Panel. Furthermore, you can use the checkboxes to copy the same values between the text boxes. Each of them refers to one of the axes, whose position you can check on the 3D Coordinates Axis on the bottom right side of the grid.



Select a region

Select the region that you can use Bend on

SelfCAD allows you to not only bend the object itself, but you can also bend some of its regions. To do so, you need to select them first. In the Right Side Panel, you will find an Interactive Rectangle, where you can enter one of the following selection modes: Face, Vertex, and Edge. Then, you can select the parts of the object that you want to bend.


Bend a region

Bend the selected region by dragging the gizmo or by using text-boxes

Bending a region works exactly the same as bending the object itself does. After selecting a region or regions that you want to bend, you can either drag them with the help of the Gizmo or type in the values into the text boxes, to bend the selected region with the typed value. Because of the nature of the tool, you are limited to bending only vertical regions of the object.



Bend a profile

In SelfCAD, there is an option to Bend the Profiles as well, drawn with the help of the Freehand or 3D Sketch tools. The process is exactly the same as described above. After selecting the profile from the Object Management Panel, all you have to do is Bend it with either the Gizmo or by typing values directly into text-boxes. Of course, most profiles consist of multiple regions, which means that you can Bend them individually as well, as explained above.




Selecting the Plane on which the object will Bend from the drop-down list in the advanced settings

It's the first of the Advanced Settings of the Bend tool, and it allows you to change the Plane on which the object will be Bend. Just like the Editor itself, there are three planes for you to choose from, and changing it will impact the direction in which the object can be Bend.


Minimum Step Size

Selecting the Minimum Step Size for the Bend tool in the advanced settings

Minimum Step Size is one of the most useful features when it comes to precise modeling, and you have to operate on strict values. It locks the tool at a specified value, and it will bend the object by the multiplication of this value. For example, if you set this feature to 80, then you will be able to Bend the object for 80 units on any axis, which will be the first step. When you try to Bend it further, it will do so by another 80 and so on.


Dynamic Origin

Toggle to enable the Dynamic Origin feature for the Bend tool in the advanced settings

Dynamic Origin is another option available for the Bend tool in the Advanced Settings. Enabling this feature, the object's Gizmo will move to the middle, which will change the way the Bend works. Instead of bending to the side, the object will bend towards the Gizmo from both sides.


Origin and Gizmo's position

Selecting the Origin and Manual gizmo position

Within the Advanced Settings of the Bend tool, there is an option called Origin. Origin sets the position of the Gizmo. In practice, you can use it to set a point from which the object will bend. You can use one of the preset positions available to you in the dropdown lists or set the Origin manually by using the Manual Gizmo Position feature.


Individual transformation

Toggle to enable the Individual Transformation feature for the Bend tool

Individual Transformation is another feature available in the Advanced Settings of the Bend tool, and it is available only when you are skewing at least two separate Faces of the object. As the name suggests, by enabling this option, you will Bend selected parts independently from each other. Again, if you need a reminder on how to select a region, you can go back to previous paragraphs for a detailed explanation.




You can use up to four Viewports to see the changes made to the model from different perspectives.



And that’s about it for the Bend tool. After reading this article, you should know the basics of the Bend tool and how to use it, know about its different applications and how to implement and customize its advanced settings. Of course, the graphics shown here were just examples, and using this tool on other shapes will give you slightly different effects, but its underlying principles will always stay the same.  


That's all I have for you today. I wish you success in your future projects. See you, and stay tuned for more content to come!

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